Paul and David Reinert, bar entrepreneurs behind Republic/Rockwell's, Monte's and O'Toole's, closed Monte's following Halloween. Tonight, they open The Establishment. Located in the exact same spot (438 Bridge NW), but with an entirely different feel, The Establishment -- billed as "a distinctive urban hangout" -- hopes to attract a different clientele and provide a new atmosphere.
It all began with local designer Ashley Cole, who was helping to give one of the Reinert's other establishment, Republic, a revamp. This led to discussing new fabric for booths inside of Monte's, which led to a conversation about new paint colors, which led to the idea of completely changing the whole bar.
As Cole led us through the space Tuesday afternoon, approximately 24 hours before the soft open and 48 before the public unveiling, she pointed out a number of found and refurbished pieces. Antique chairs, painted a flat black, she says she found at local antique stores. Old metal sashes from a defunct factory make up the racks that the liquor is now held on behind the bar. The booths have new fabric, but are salvaged pieces from former restaurants, and old factory carts serve as coffee tables. It all lends to an industrial feel in a wide, open space.
As far as the drinks go, The Establishment has a wide selection of draught and bottled beers (several from Michigan) and wines. A real point of interest is their cocktail list. Jumping on the resurgence of cocktail classics and handmade mixology, these signature libations seem guaranteed to be strong, appropriately sweet and expertly crafted. One bartender cites her personal favorite as Kings Milk -- Knob Creek bourbon, Grand Marnier, Ricard Pastis, house-made grenadine, egg white, lemon juice and nutmeg.
The Establishment's stage is equipped for DJs and live music. Mondays are slated for indie, Tuesdays singer/songwriters, Wednesdays other local bands and Thursdays 80s and 90s cover acts. Weekends will feature top 40, retro and dance DJs.
The Establishment is open 5 p.m. - 2 a.m., Tues.-Fri. and from 8 p.m. - 2 a.m. Sat. & Sun. Happy hour runs 5-7 p.m., Tues.-Fri. and features $3 Cosmos and craft draughts and $5 wine pours. Check theestablishmentgr.com
for band/DJ listings.
Pictured: Paul Reinert, Designer Ashley Cole, David Reinert
Workers scramble to put the finishing touches on before the soft opening
Photos by Jeff Hill